Is Jail the Only Place Where One Can “Live in Truth”?: <i>Liu Xiaobo's Experience</i>

Jean-Philippe Béja

in Liu Xiaobo, Charter 08 and the Challenges of Political Reform in China

Published by Hong Kong University Press

Published in print August 2012 | ISBN: 9789888139064
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9789882209732 | DOI:
Is Jail the Only Place Where One Can “Live in Truth”?: Liu Xiaobo's Experience

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This chapter introduces Liu Xiaobo as a scholar and activist. It highlights the turning points in Liu's life and puts them in political context. Liu's transformation from a bookish scholar into a person at the forefront of the opposition was triggered by political events. In his case, the experience of the bloodshed on June Fourth had a profound impact on his thinking and priorities in life. He moved from literary critique to political critique, engaging in progressively open criticism of the Chinese Communist Party and advocacy for fundamental political reform. Subsequent developments led to his increasingly overt challenges and his participation in the drafting of Charter 08.

Keywords: Charter 08; Liu Xiaobo; Human rights; China; Constititutionalism; Chinese Communist Party

Chapter.  5733 words. 

Subjects: Society and Culture

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